Conditions of College Enrollment
Students are expected to prepare for and attend each class. When absence becomes necessary, the student is responsible for making up all missed work. Faculty normally include their classroom attendance policy in the course syllabus.
Students may register for courses only during the official registration period. Requests for entry after that time must be approved by the instructor of the class and the Division Dean. Registration dates will be announced in local newspapers and on radio stations and will be posted on College bulletin boards. In the event that a class is closed, the student must see the division dean to determine whether additional class seats are available.
Students have the capability to register online via the Internet using the student information system – MYSouthwest.
MYSouthwest allows students to search for classes, plan schedules, register, add, drop or swap classes, print class schedules, view grades, print an unofficial transcript, request an official transcript, track degree progress, access financial aid information, pay tuition and fees, and much more. Instructions for registration online are available on the SWCC web site at www.sw.edu/students/mysouthwest/ or contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 276.964.7238.
All students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor for assistance in course selection to assure progress toward graduation and transferability of coursework.
Change of Registration (Add/Drop)
Students should follow established procedure for making any change in their schedules. Add/Drops may be processed online, via the Internet using MYSouthwest, prior to the end of the registration/add period. If not processed online via MYSouthwest, all changes in a student’s schedule must be submitted on an add/drop form to the Office of Admissions and Records.
If a student drops a class prior to the end of the registration/add period for the semester or term, the student’s name is removed from the class roll and no grade is awarded. Withdrawal from a course without academic penalty must be made within the specified withdrawal period of a semester in order for the student to receive a grade of “W.” After that time, the student will receive a grade of “F” except in mitigating circumstances. Withdrawals are not permitted under any circumstances following the last scheduled class day of each semester.
Classes with different start or end dates will also have different add/drop and withdrawal dates. Students should check with the Office of Admissions and Records for specifics.
Addition and Late Registration for a Course
The add period and late registration period for classes in the fifteen-week session ends at the close of the sixth (6) calendar day of the academic semester. The first day of classes, as published in the semester schedule, shall be the first day of the add and late registration period.
The add/drop period for classes in non-standard terms and summer sessions begins on the first day of classes and ends on the day which represents the completion of fifteen percent (15%) of the non-standard term.
Withdrawal from the College
A student who wishes to withdraw from the College is encouraged to meet with a counselor prior to withdrawal. If a student fails to withdraw from a course, he or she will receive a grade of “F” for that course. Students are encouraged to check with financial aid regarding the effect of a withdrawal on future aid prior to withdrawing. The student’s official date of withdrawal is considered to be the date upon which the student’s electronic or written notification of withdrawal is received by the Office of Admissions and Records.
Students who wish to audit a course should register in the usual manner and indicate audit status on the registration form. Full tuition and fees must be paid to audit a course. Audited courses do not count as a part of the student’s course load. A change from credit to audit must be completed within the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester.
Pre-Registration for Classes
Students are encouraged to take advantage of advanced registration for the upcoming semester. Registering during advanced registration permits early selection of courses for the desired schedule and prevents delays in the registration process.
Change of Program
A student desiring to change programs after acceptance or enrollment in a specific program of the College should contact a counselor for assistance. A Program Change Request form must be completed and signed by the student and submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records.
Academic Assistance Centers:
A student in need of academic assistance may contact the Student Support Services in Buchanan Hall, Room 152, the Writing Lab in Buchanan Hall, Room 106, or the Learning Assistance Center in Dellinger Hall, Room 215.
A student is considered to be “in good academic standing” if he or she maintains a semester minimum GPA of 2.00, is eligible to enroll again at the College, and is not on academic suspension or dismissal status.
Students who fail to attain a minimum GPA of 2.00 for any semester shall be placed on academic warning. Students on academic warning are encouraged to consult with their advisor/counselor and take advantage of academic support services provided by the college.
Students who fail to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 1.50 will be placed on academic probation until such time as the cumulative average is 1.75 or better. The statement “Academic Probation” will be reflected on the student’s record. Students on probation are ineligible for appointed or elected office in any student organization unless special permission is granted by the Vice President of Academic & Student Services. Students may be required to carry less than a normal course load the following semester and will be required to consult with their advisor/counselor. Students shall be placed on probation only after they have attempted 12 semester credits.
Students on academic probation who fail to attain a semester GPA of 1.50 will be placed on suspension only after they have attempted 24 semester credits. Academic suspension shall be for one semester. The statement “Academic Suspension” will be reflected on the student’s record. Students who are placed on academic suspension and wish to appeal should follow the appeal process established by the college. Suspended students may be reinstated at the conclusion of the suspension period by following the process established by the college.
Students who have been reinstated from academic suspension must achieve a 2.00 GPA for the semester of their reinstatement and must earn at least a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester of attendance. The statement “Subject to Dismissal” shall be placed on the students’ records. Students who have been reinstated from academic suspension will remain subject to dismissal until the cumulative GPA is raised to a minimum of 1.75. Reinstated students may be required to carry less than a normal course load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor/counselor. Colleges are encouraged to make additional academic support available to students who have been reinstated following academic suspension.
Students who do not attain at least a 2.00 GPA for the semester of reinstatement following academic suspension shall be academically dismissed. Students who achieve at least a 2.00 GPA for the semester of their reinstatement following academic suspension must earn at least a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester of enrollment. Failure to attain a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester until the cumulative GPA reaches 1.75 shall result in academic dismissal. The statement “Academic Dismissal” will be reflected on the student’s records. Academic dismissal is normally permanent. In exceptional circumstances, students may appeal and be reinstated by following the process established by the college. Students who have been reinstated after academic dismissal will remain subject to dismissal until their cumulative GPA is raised to a minimum of 1.75. Reinstated students may be required to carry less than a normal course load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor/counselor. Colleges are encouraged to make additional academic support available to students who have been reinstated following academic dismissal.
Students who return to the College after a separation of five (5) years/60 months or more may petition for academic renewal. To qualify for academic renewal a student must receive a GPA of 2.5 or higher for the first twelve credits (not counting developmental courses) after they return to college. If a student is determined to be eligible for academic renewal, “D” and “F” grades earned prior to reenrollment will not be used in the cumulative and curriculum grade point average (G. P. A.), subject to certain conditions. The request must be in writing and submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records. Once granted by the College, academic renewal cannot be revoked.
Dean's List and Honor's List
The Dean’s List and the Honor’s List are compiled at the end of each term. To earn Dean’s List status, a student must have completed twelve (12) or more credits and earned a grade point average of 3.20. To earn Honor’s List status, a student must be enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours and attain a grade point average of at least 3.50. Developmental course work will not be included in fulfillment of the twelve hours requirement for the Dean’s List and the six hours requirement for the Honor’s List.
Students should meet with their advisor for assistance in the registration process and in the proper course selection for their program of study. Admissions’ personnel will assign a faculty member or other college personnel who is knowledgeable in the student’s field of specialization as the student’s advisor. Students should see a counselor if help is needed in career selection or if assistance is needed with a personal problem.
College students may receive the following grade marks:
|D Below average||1|
|X Audit (no credit)||0|
Classes have assigned credit hours and each grade has set quality points with the exception of developmental courses. To determine the grade point average, divide the number of grade points earned by the number of credits taken. For example:
|Grade||Quality Points||Credits||Total Quality Points|
34 divided by 13 = Semester GPA of 2.615
Grades are available, via the Internet, using MySouthwest (student information system) at the end of each semester.
An “I” grade means incomplete course work. The student must complete the course requirements for removal of the “I” grade prior to the end of the following semester. The “I” grade will change to a “F” grade if the course work is not completed by the stated date.
Students should apply for graduation during the Fall semester for the Spring semester graduation date. Students should register for their final semester and consult with their advisor prior to submitting the graduation application to the Office of Admissions and Records. Graduation applications may be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records, online at www.sw.edu, and from file racks on the ground floor of Tazewell Hall. No fees are required for the graduation apparel or diplomas.
In order to determine eligibility for graduation or the specific courses needed to meet graduation requirements, students should consult with their advisor or check with the graduation consultant in the Office of Admissions and Records.
Commencement exercises are conducted only at the end of spring semester. Students completing degree requirements during spring semester are urged to attend commencement unless extenuating circumstances justify their absence. Diplomas will be mailed to students after confirmation that their degree requirements have been completed.
Participation in Commencement
Southwest Virginia Community College restricts participation in commencement to those students who will complete their degree requirements by the spring semester commencement date or who can complete the requirements during the immediately following summer term. Those who wish to participate in commencement ceremonies who will not have met all requirements at the time of commencement must submit a letter of intent to participate along with the application for graduation.
The Associate of Arts & Sciences (AA & S) degree and the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree require the completion of 60-69 credits with a minimum grade point average of 2.00. A student will be considered full time if he or she enrolls in 12 or more credits, three-quarter time if enrolled in 9-11 credits, and half-time if enrolled in 6-8 credits.
A student who has a class canceled and who is on financial aid may owe a refund to the College due to a change in the total number of credits. Change of enrollment status, full- to three-quarter time or to half-time status or below half-time status, reduces the amount of financial aid for which the student is eligible.
Student Course Load:
The normal academic course load is 15-17 credit hours. The minimum full-time load is 12 credit hours and the normal maximum full-time load is 18 credit hours, excluding College Survival Skills (SDV108). Additional credit hours may be achieved through credit by experience, examination, or taken as an overload if appropriate and approved. Students placed on academic warning or academic probation may be required to take less than the normal course load.
Maximum Attempts Per Course:
A student may repeat courses previously taken in an attempt to earn a higher grade; however, repeats in most courses shall be limited to one, unless approved by the Vice President of Academic & Student Services or Division Dean. When students repeat a course, the grade of the last attempt will be used for the cumulative grade point average and for satisfying curriculum requirements. However, all courses taken and the grades received will be reflected on the student’s record. It should be noted that some senior institutions count all hours attempted and all quality points earned. Also, some types of financial aid do not cover repeat course attempts; the student should check with the Office of Financial Aid to determine his/her status.
Success in college depends on factors such as scholastic aptitude, motivation, application of ability, and good study habits. Good study habits are important for all students to protect investments of time and money and to achieve educational goals.
Every student, regardless of ability, can develop good study habits and can devote adequate time to study. The amount of time which must be devoted to out-of-class study varies according to the ability and preparation of the student, class load, and the difficulty of the subject. A minimum of two hours of study and preparation is normally needed for each hour of regular classroom work. The College Survival Skills course (SDV 108), the Study Skills course (SDV 104), and tutoring are provided to help students.
As a service to students, bus transportation to the College is provided by Four County Transit. Inquiries regarding bus transportation should be directed to the Office of Student Development Services in Tazewell Hall, Room 104, or directly to Four-County Transit at 276.963.1486 or 1.888.656.2272.
Contagious Disease Policy
SWCC has a policy on contagious diseases for the purpose of preventing the spread of communicable/contagious diseases using safety, prevention, and education. Contagious disease is defined for the purpose of this policy as an infectious disease that is spread from person to person through casual contact or respiratory droplets, which may lead to an epidemic or pandemic situation and threaten the health of the campus community.
These diseases include but are not limited to:
• Tuberculosis (TB)
• Measles or German Measles (rubella)
• Certain strains of hepatitis and meninges
• SARS and certain strains of influenza
Other potentially less serious infectious diseases, such as chicken pox and pneumonia, will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Persons who know or have reason to believe they are infected with a contagious disease:
• should seek expert medical advice;
• are encouraged to advise local health authorities of a possible public health threat;
• must follow the directions of local health authorities in order to prevent the spread of infection and to protect their own health.
Students who know or suspect they are infected with a contagious disease must notify the Dean of Student Success and/or their instructor(s). All records regarding this medical information must remain confidential and be filed separately from all other general student records and/or personnel files.
No person, group, agency, insurer, employer, or institution should be provided any medical information without the prior specific written consent of the student, employee, or other College community member unless required by state and/or federal law. Furthermore, all medical information relating to contagious diseases of students, employees, or other College community members will be kept confidential, according to applicable state and federal law. Medical information relating to contagious diseases of persons within the College community will only be disclosed to responsible College officials on a need-to-know basis.
Electronic mail or email is the official method of communicating at the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). All official email communication is distributed to VCCS email accounts only. Students are required to use their campus email accounts as the official communication with their instructors and the college.
Students are expected to take final examinations at the regularly scheduled times. No exceptions will be made without the permission of the instructor of the course and the Vice President of Academic & Student Services.
Food Services and Student Lounge:
Vending services are available in Buchanan Hall, as well as other areas on campus. A student lounge area is also provided in Buchanan Hall for students to relax between classes.
Head Start Center:
Through a regional partnership, Clinch Valley Community Action, Inc., operates a regional Head Start Center on campus. On a limited basis, this Center is available to eligible children of students and staff of the College’s service region. For a list of area certified child care providers or for more information, contact the Office of the Vice President of Academic & Student Services in Tazewell Hall, Room 341.
Parking and Traffic Regulations:
Students may use all student designated parking areas. Students may not park in handicapped, reserved, or visitor parking unless authorized.
Campus Police issue tickets for traffic violations such as speeding, reckless driving, and illegal parking. A fine of $15 will be assessed for a parking violation. If the fine is not paid within fifteen (15) working days, the fine will double. Unpaid fines will be submitted to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Parking for Individuals with Disabilities
Parking spaces are reserved for persons with state-issued handicapped permits obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Offenders of parking for persons with disabilities are in violation of state law.
Special Parking Permits
Special permits may be obtained from the Office of Campus Police to allow access to designated areas. Requests for this permit must be accompanied by a physician’s statement regarding the nature and extent of the disability.
Co-Curricular Activities and Student Government Association:
Student Government Association Statement of Purpose
The Student Government Association represents the College’s commitment to active participation by students in regard to policies, programs, committees, and other issues that directly affect students. The College is dedicated to student involvement in these matters. SGA serves as the students’ voice.
The student activities program plays a key role in the total development of students. The activities program provides students the means to supplement their educational experience by providing opportunities to develop culturally, socially, physically, and emotionally.
The activities program is supported by the student comprehensive fee. The Student Government Association is directly involved in the planning to ensure quality and meaningful programming.
Student Development Services and the Student Government Association encourage student participation in extracurricular activities. Faculty members serve as advisors for all chartered organizations. Two activity periods are provided weekly as part of the regular schedule.
The College provides an opportunity for students to participate in the Student Government Association. Elected officers and the Senate provide representative leadership. More information about student activities and the Student Government Association can be found on the College’s website at sw.edu/sga.
Student Clubs and Organizations
|Art Club||Outdoor Club|
|Black Student Union||Phi Beta Lambda|
|Campus Crusade for Christ||Phi Theta Kappa|
|College Republicans||Practical Nursing Club|
|Helping Minds||Project ACHIEVE|
|InterVoice||Registered Nursing Club|
|Lambda Alpha Epsilon||Student Occupational Therapy Association|
|Latent Image Club||Student Government Association|
|Multimedia Club||Veterans Club|
A procedure checklist and model constitution are available as a guide to start a new club and may be obtained from Buchanan Hall, Room 159.
Club fund-raising activities require the approval of the Student Activities Coordinator. Sale of commercial items by staff or students not affiliated with a recognized campus club shall not be permitted on SWCC’s property unless authorized.
The King Community Center/Indoor Director schedules the use of outdoor facilities and recreational equipment. - Contact Pauline Taylor @ 276.964.7619, or email Pauline Taylor@sw.edu.
A student must complete his or her own work. Tutors are available to assist when help is needed, but no one should do an assignment for someone else. Brief sections of others’ writing may be copied if quotation marks are placed around it and a source is given. Brief portions of someone else’s writing may be reworded if the source is listed. To use someone else’s words or ideas without proper credit is called plagiarism which is against the law and could bring dismissal from college.
Student Identification Cards:
SWCC campus ID cards are prepared in the Library. The ID cards are full color and contain a photograph. All students and staff should obtain an ID card. During the regular academic semester, the Library is open from 7:45 am until 9:00 pm Monday through Thursday, from 7:45 am till 4:30 pm on Friday, and 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm on Sunday. As soon as the registration process is complete, take your registration form and other identification to the Library to obtain your ID card. There is no charge for the first card, but there is a $5 replacement charge for lost ID cards. Any registered student is eligible for a free ID card.
The Library prepares ID cards for other purposes, as follows:
- Adjunct faculty
- Part-time staff
- Community Center membership
- Library use (high school students or area residents)
- Nursing students or other clinical ID badges
- Summer youth program
- Grant programs or other special ID cards
Student Rights and Responsibilities:
An application for admission to the College represents a voluntary decision by the student to participate in the programs offered by the institution pursuant to the policies, rules, and regulations of the State Board for Community Colleges. Approval of that application represents the extension of a privilege to join the College community and to remain a part of it as long as the student meets the required academic and behavioral standards.
Each individual student is guaranteed the privilege of exercising his rights without fear or prejudice. Such rights include the following:
- Students are free to pursue educational goals; appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on the campus shall be provided by the College.
- No disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon any student without due process.
- Free inquiry, expressions, and assembly are guaranteed to all students provided their actions do not interfere with the rights of others or the effective operation of the institution.
- Academic evaluation of student performance shall be neither arbitrary nor capricious.
- The College and members of the College community have the right to expect safety, protection, and the continuity of the educational process.
All student activity programs and recognized organizations must comply with the College’s nondiscrimination policy, except as follows:
Any recognized religious or political student organization shall be authorized to limit certain activities only to members who are committed to furthering the mission of such organization. Such activities include ordering the organization’s internal affairs, selecting the organization’s leaders and members, defining the organization’s doctrines, and resolving the organization’s disputes.
Code of Classroom Courtesy:
In an adult teaching/learning environment, there are behavioral expectations and performance standards. The members of the SWCC faculty are eager to foster an atmosphere of scholarly inquiry and sharing, trust, acceptance, mutual respect, and safety. The faculty believes that providing quality instruction under these conditions is foremost among SWCC’s many missions and that the classroom is the primary focus for that instruction. The faculty also believes that the classroom environment can positively or negatively affect the learning process. The following code is an effort to ensure that every student has a positive learning experience.
Every class at SWCC has a designated beginning time and ending time. While there are always legitimate institutional reasons for class to end early (snow, for example), the College will make that decision. There are also legitimate personal reasons for a student to leave class early (a doctor’s appointment, for instance). Prior to the beginning of class, a student should inform the instructor if he or she needs to leave early and then should do so in a discreet manner.
Students missing designated class times have a number of responsibilities. They should check with the instructor and find out what they have missed during the absence. Generally, students are responsible for participating in a class’s activities the first day back from any period of absence.
SWCC requires a number of administrative responsibilities of both instructors and students, such as signing drop forms, attendance sheets, and so on. Students should ask instructors to attend to these tasks during their office hours, not during class.
The instructor is the designated spokesperson in each classroom. He or she may design in-class activities that require student response or even student conversation, but continual unsolicited talking in the classroom disrupts classroom quality and deprives all students of their right to a quality educational environment.
Some activities, such as bringing children to class, typing on the computer instead of listening to the instructor, chewing gum, sleeping, listening to headphones, doing homework for other classes, or refusal to carry out assignments, generally disrupt classroom continuity. The instructor may ask students to stop such activities should they occur during class. For repetitive disruptions, the teacher may elect to take further action to stop the behavior, such as ask the student to leave the classroom or in extreme cases drop the course altogether.
Students share a classroom with many peers. These peers deserve not only a quality learning environment but an environment free from fear and intimidation.
Open Labs and the Library
Open Labs and the Library offer unstructured learning opportunities for students. These facilities offer both academic and social experiences, but the academic experience is primary. In order to maximize this experience, students should avoid creating a noisy environment. In an open lab, students engaged in recreational computer use should be willing to surrender their spaces to students completing required class work. Students sending email should employ the came courtesy required by face-to-face communications, including abstaining from using offensive language or making personal attacks.
Any electronic devices, with headphones or not, are not allowed in class unless specified by the instructor.
Student Code of Conduct:
Generally, College punitive action shall be limited to conduct which adversely affects the College community’s pursuit of its educational objectives or behavior that disrupts the teaching/learning process. The following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action:
- Possession or use of alcoholic beverages on college property or at any function sponsored or supervised by the College, except by state permit, is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. State Law forbids providing alcohol to persons less than 21 years of age.
- Assault, battery, or physical abuse of a student or college personnel. Physical and/or psychological abuse or threat of such abuse toward any person on college premises or at college activities. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape will be dealt with on criminal charges through the civil court system for disciplinary action and judicial board review.
- Participating in or inciting a riot or an unauthorized or disorderly assembly.
- All forms of sexual harassment or racial discrimination other than such forms as constitute protected speech.
- Possessing on College property or at any College activity any dangerous chemical, explosive element, or component parts thereof, not used for lawful College studies.
- Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct.
- Possessing a rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, other firearm or weapon as defined in section 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia on College property without authorization of the President of the College.
- Gambling, holding a raffle, or lottery on the campus or at any College function.
- Littering, defacing, destroying, or damaging property of the College or property under its jurisdiction or removing or using such property without authorization.
- Computer and lab abuse in violation of College policy.
- Unlawful possession, use, sale, or distribution of any type of controlled drug or substance.
- Seizing, holding, commandeering, or damaging any property or facility of the College or a threat to do so, or refusing to depart from any property or facility of the College upon direction by College officials or other persons authorized within the regulations of the College.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities.
- All forms of dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the College, forgery, and alteration or the use of altered College documents.
- Persistent or gross acts of willful disobedience or defiance toward College personnel.
- Failure to identify oneself on College property or at a College event when asked to do so by College personnel acting in the performance of his or her duties.
- Intrusive use of personal sound amplification equipment.
- The use of personal electronic devices in classrooms, including but not limited to, cell phones, MP3 players, gaming devices, radios, CD players, computer laptops with sound, etc.
- Failure to maintain reasonable hygiene.
- Sleeping in class.
- Animals are not allowed on campus except in the case of seeing-eye dogs or as part of class presentations.
- Use of the College mail by students is not allowed.
- Illegal acts, such as copyright violation, fraud, forgery, pornography, etc.
In cases where there is definite and imminent risk of physical harm or fear for safety, the student will be reported to Campus Police and the Vice President of Academic & Student Services. At off-campus locations, students should call the local law enforcement agency and notify the site coordinator for the College, who contact College administration.
Sex Offender Policy:
Penalties for Misconduct
The following sanctions may be imposed for misconduct.
- Admonition: An oral or written statement to a student that he or she is violating or has violated College rules and may be subject to more severe disciplinary action unless the violation ceases, or is not repeated. An admonition is an immediate action which may be administered by the Vice President of Academic & Student Services without further review.
- Disciplinary Probation: A contract governing student behavior is required stating conditions of probation. Exclusion from participation in the extracurricular activities of the College, including the holding of a student office, for a period of time not to exceed one school year.
- Restitution: Required reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property.
- Suspension: Exclusion from attending the College as a student for a definite period of time not to exceed one year.
- Dismissal: Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of re-admission, if any, will be stated in the offer of dismissal.
- Interim Suspension: If in the opinion of the President, the presence of a student poses a serious threat of harm to person or property, the President may immediately suspend the student.
* Faculty and Staff: Procedure for Enforcing the Student Code of Conduct
Any student and/or visitor impeding classroom instruction or disrupting any college activity may be removed from the premises using the following procedure:
- The determination of disruptive behavior is at the discretion of the college employee (teacher, administrator, or staff).
- Ask the student/individual to leave the instructional site, campus or activity area. Specify criteria for his/her return.
- Inform the student/individual that he/she has the right to appeal to your supervisor.
- If the student refuses to leave, dismiss the class or adjourn the activity, and call security.
- Report the incident to your supervisor immediately who will follow-up with a report to the Vice President of Academic & Student Services.
Suspended Student Restriction: No student who has been suspended for disciplinary reasons from the college will be permitted on the campus of the college during the suspension period without prior written approval of the Vice President of Academic & Student Services.
The Vice President of Academic & Student Services is responsible for disciplinary procedures. All cases involving disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, or dismissal of students may be referred by the Associate Vice President to the committee of review or other appropriate board, unless the student has waived his right to a hearing.
Grievance Procedure for Students:
The Student Grievance Procedure is designed to provide students due process when they believe college policy has been compromised. Grieveable issues must be related to interpretation or application of college policy. Personal opinions, matters of taste or preference, and circumstances covered by external rules, laws, or guidelines are not typically grieveable under the Student Grievance Procedure.
A grievance is defined as a written claim raised by a student alleging improper, unfair, arbitrary, or discriminatory action by an employee or a student involving the application of a specific provision of a college rule/regulation or a board policy/procedure. This policy does not cover issues of sexual harassment or misconduct, which should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Dyan Effler Lester, at 276-964-7677, or email@example.com, or reported online via the SWCC Tips Line.
Students are encouraged to maintain open, direct contact with faculty, counselors, and others who work with them in achieving educational goals. Concerns or questions are best resolved by direct, positive contact with the individual(s) concerned. A Student Grievance Form, available on the Public Forms page of the SWCC website, is required for each grievance and will need to be submitted to the appropriate party as detailed below.
The steps to be followed in the grievance process are as follows:
- The student is encouraged to discuss his or her concern directly with the other party within ten (10) business days of the precipitating event.
- If the student remains dissatisfied with the results of the discussion, the student may initiate a formal grievance by using the Student Grievance Form to document the issue. The student should submit the form to the immediate supervisor or dean of the person involved in the grievance, again within the ten (10) day time frame. The immediate supervisor may make a preliminary investigation to determine if the concerns can be resolved by mutual consent. If the issue cannot be resolved, the immediate supervisor will conduct an investigation and render a written decision within ten (10) calendar days.
- If the decision of the immediate supervisor is not satisfactory, the student may file a written appeal within ten (10) calendar days with the vice president of academic and student services. The vice president will render a written decision within ten (10) calendar days.
- If the vice president’s decision is not satisfactory, the student may file a written request for appeal to the judicial committee within ten (10) business days after receiving the decision from the vice president. The written request must be attached to the Student Grievance Form and include any documentation that has been presented in the prior steps. These documents shall be submitted to the dean of student success, who will convene the judicial committee.
Copies of the grievance will be provided to all parties of the grievance. The student will be scheduled to meet with the judicial committee within 30 calendar days following the request to the committee. (*If more time is needed to convene the committee, the parties involved will be notified in writing.) Both parties shall have the right to have present, at their own expense, legal counsel or others who may advise, but may not present to the committee. In reaching its decision, the judicial committee shall consider only the evidence presented at the hearing and such oral or written arguments as the judicial committee may consider relevant. The Board shall make a written decision within ten (10) business days of the meeting.
- Either party may appeal in writing the decision of the judicial committee to the president within ten (10) business days of the decision. The president will review the judicial committee findings and make the final decision.
Student Complaints Under State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA)
Southwest Virginia Community College accepts oversight from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for higher education, in resolving complaints from students taking distance education under the aegis of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA).
All student complaints will be addressed through the SWCC Student Grievance Procedure. Subsequently, if the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student may submit the Student Complaint form to SCHEV. More details on the formal SCHEV student complaints procedure may be found on the SCHEV agency page at www.schev.edu. Students may also seek resolution through the Office for Civil Rights of the United Stated Department of Education (“OCR”). A complaint filed with OCR must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged discrimination. Or, if the college complaint procedure was utilized by the student, the OCR complaint must be filed within 60 calendar days from the date of the final decision, unless the time for filing is extended by the OCR for good cause shown. Information on how to proceed may be accessed on OCR’s website at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html.
Campus Crime Policy:
Southwest Virginia Community College complies with state and federal regulations and fully cooperates with civil authorities in assuring that the campus is a safe place to learn and work. Annually, a report on campus security and completion rates is made available to all current students and employees. Paper copies of the report are available from the Vice President of Academic & Student Services.
Emergency contacts can be reached by calling Campus Police at ext. 7221 in the Physical Plant or the Vice President of Academic & Student Services at ext. 7200 in Tazewell Hall, Room 341. You may also dial 4357 (HELP), which provides direct radio contact with a campus police officer. HELP phones are located at the outside entrances to Buchanan Hall, Tazewell Hall, Davis Hall, Dickenson Hall, Russell Hall, and the Community Center. Additional HELP phones are located in the student parking areas of Davis Hall, Buchanan Hall, Dickenson Hall, Physical Plant, and Pavilion #4 near the recreational field.
Personal emergencies regarding counseling or referral, other than immediate police action, should be directed to the Office of the Vice President of Academic & Student Services.
Student Dress Code:
Student dress will be a matter of individual taste, except for restrictions as needed for safety, physical fitness classes, and laboratory settings. Students should show respect and awareness for what others may find lewd, profane, or obscene.
Name and/or Address Change:
Report name and/or address changes to the Office of Admissions and Records in order to receive correspondence from the College.
Alcohol and Drug Policy:
The College accepts responsibility for creating a responsible environment for its student body in reference to drugs and alcohol on campus. The College has the right to notify parents of students who are under the age 21 when alcohol or drug policies are violated. The policy on substance abuse has these basic premises:
- All federal, state, and local statutes and laws in reference to the use of legal and illegal substances in public areas will be enforced in their entirety.
- A Substance Abuse Awareness program will be offered on campus so that students may fully understand the dangers of substance abuse.
- An ongoing network with local mental health agencies is in place so that students in need of assistance may be assured of prompt referral.
In case of fire, the alarm will sound. If this happens, leave the building in an orderly manner by the diagrams posted in classrooms and labs. Exit signs are posted in the halls.
Dial HELP (4357) or ext.7221 for assistance. First-aid kits are available in all labs and shops, the Business Office, and the Office of the Vice President of Academic & Student Services.
Students with Disabilities:
The College is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Southwest Virginia Community College recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in or benefit form educational programs. The college maintains compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With respect to student privacy, information regarding the student’s disability will be held confidentially and only shared with student consent.
- It is the responsibility of the student to identify themselves as a person with a disability and present the proper documentation of the disability for which they seek accommodation. The documentation should be current (usually within the last three years) and from a qualified professional. It is preferred that this be done prior to the beginning of each semester.
- It is the responsibility of the student to notify the faculty member(s) of approved accommodations needed for each class.
- Where course substitutions or curriculum changes are requested as accommodations by students with disabilities, approval must be obtained from the appropriate division dean and/or Vice President of Academic and Student Services.
- Students with a complaint should file it in writing to the Dean of Student Success. A description of the alleged violation and the name and address of the person filing the complaint should be included. Persons should file within the semester the alleged violation occurred.
- Students with disabilities will be expected to abide by the same college rules, policies, and due process procedures that apply to all other students.
Disability Services is located in Dellinger Hall, room 200 or online at www.sw.edu/career.
Inclement Weather Policy:
Decisions concerning late opening or closing of the College due to inclement weather will be made early each day. Students, faculty, and staff are urged to listen to local radio and/or television stations for information concerning late schedule or closing. In addition, the college telephone number, the toll-free telephone number, and the college website will have information regarding late schedule or college closing. Persons should not be influenced by announcements concerning the public school system since the College is not a part of that system. Students are encouraged to participate in SWCC’s Alert System and may enroll for this service on SWCC’s home page. As part of this service, students may elect to receive messages regarding inclement weather. If the College is to be closed, the announcement will state that fact. A complete list of radio and television stations scheduled to make announcements is available from the Office of Admissions and Records or Division Offices.
Non-students who wish to visit the campus are welcome. Repeated visits without a specific purpose will be discouraged. Prospective students coming to campus for the first time should report to the Office of Admissions and Records for information and assistance.
Damage and Fines Website:
Students who damage or lose school property (laboratory or shop equipment, supplies, library materials, audio visual equipment, etc.) are expected to pay for such losses. Students are also expected to pay fines for overdue books.
Lost Books or Other Materials
Lost Library books and other materials should be reported immediately since fines are charged up to the time the loss is reported. Lost books and other materials are billed at the current replacement value.
Unpaid Fines and Bills
The Office of Admissions and Records and the Business Office are provided the names of students who owe money to the College at the end of each semester. Students owing fines or lost materials at the end of the semester will not receive grades and will not be permitted to register in any succeeding term until all financial obligations are met. Grade transcripts will not be released until all financial obligations are paid.
The College does not offer a health insurance plan. The College encourages student insurance and has information on student accident insurance plans used by many students as well as a list of providers. Students who are enrolled in certain programs, classes, or clubs will be required to show proof of insurance for injury and accident coverage. Industrial/vocational students, health technologies students, club sports athletes, and students in high-risk activities are examples of those who will need such insurance. Application forms may be obtained from the Office of Student Development Services in Tazewell Hall, Room 104.
Student lockers are provided as a convenience to students on a limited basis. Lockers are of two types, combination lockers and padlock lockers, and are available to provide students a secure storage unit while at SWCC. Only current students or community center club users may maintain a locker. Misuse of college lockers can result in sanctions against the student, including suspension or expulsion.
Policy and Procedure
1. Lockers are available on a first come, first served basis at no charge.
2. Each building with lockers has a contact location where students can reserve lockers as listed:
• Buchanan Hall Student Support Services Office (B-152)
• King Community Center Student Activities Office (C-111)
• Davis Hall Davis Hall (DA-226)
• Dellinger Hall Dellinger Hall (DE-107)
• No lockers available in Dickenson Hall, Russell Hall or Tazewell Hall
3. Once a student selects an available locker, he/she must report the locker number to the designated contact location in the building. A student will receive a lock combination; if the locker does not have a built-in lock, the student is responsible for providing a lock. Locks are available from the College Bookstore.
4. A student may keep the locker for the academic year, provided he/she remains enrolled.
5. Instructions for occupying and maintaining the locker will be posted inside each locker.
6. Students are to vacate the locker if they are not returning the following semester. Students who withdraw during the semester must vacate the locker and notify the appropriate office contact location. Notices will be posted each semester regarding college locker policy and procedures.
7. At the end of the academic year (May), all lockers are to be vacated, except for those of King Community Center users. Notices will be posted two (2) weeks prior to the end of the academic year. If lockers are not vacated, locks will be removed and contents will be discarded. (Students who are enrolled for the summer term may retain the locker by notifying the appropriate contact person for the locker location.)
SWCC offers a general orientation program to acquaint new students with the purpose and programs of the College. This process begins shortly after the student officially applies for admission. Each new student is advised to meet with a college counselor to explore career options, to discuss his/her educational interests, entry-level assessment report, possible special testing and to choose a curriculum. The student also has the option of taking tours and visiting specific instructors. It is the desire of Student Development Services to clarify and deal with any concerns or problems that the prospective student might have.
Reinstatement as a result of military service:
PURSUANT TO 23-9.6:2 of the Code Virginia, and corresponding SCHEV Guidelines, Southwest Virginia Community College provides for the tuition relief, refund, and reinstatement of students whose service in the uniformed services has required their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment. Service in the uniformed services is defined as service (whether voluntary or involuntary) on active duty in the Armed Forces, including such service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve, for a period of more than 30 days under call or order to active duty of more than 30 days. The College provides for the following:
Tuition and Required Fees
Should a student be ordered to active duty (for reservists) or be mobilized (active military) as described in the Code of Virginia Section 23-9.6:2, and the State Council’s Virginia Tuition Relief, Refund, and Reinstatement Guidelines, and he/she requests to be withdrawn with no refund and assigned a grade of “W”.
The College will provide, at the option of the student, for such refunds to be retained and to be applicable to tuition and fees charged in the semester or term in which the student returns to study.
The College will process refunds for textbooks according to established refund policies of the College Bookstore.
Academic Credits and Grades
Students who are called to active duty or are mobilized, meaning serving in the uniformed services, as described in Virginia Tuition Relief, Refund, and Reinstatement Guidelines should have the opportunity to receive and incomplete grade (“I”) until released from active duty (for reservists) or mobilization (for active Military personnel). All course requirements shall be completed within one year from the of release from active duty or mobilization.
Students may be given the option of taking their examinations prior to regularly scheduled times as an exception to VCCS policy 5.6.1 in accordance with the Virginia Tuition Relief, Refund, and Reinstatement Guidelines.
Students who are called to active duty or are mobilized will be assured a reasonable opportunity to be reinstated in the same program of study without having to reapply for admission if they return to the College after a cumulative absence of not more than five years so long as the student provides notice of intent to return to the institution not later than three years after the completion of the period of service.
Sexual harassment of any member of the College community is serious misconduct and shall not be tolerated. The College has developed policies and procedures addressing sexual harassment and reporting of such complaints. The policies and procedures are printed in the Student Handbook, SWCC Classified Handbook, and the SWCC Faculty Handbook which are available on the College website.
The College prohibits the use of tobacco (smoking, chewing, dipping) in all College owned or leased buildings and vehicles. Notices to this effect are posted in all buildings. Employees may use tobacco outside the buildings at a distance of 25 feet and proper disposal of used tobacco products is required. Notification of the Tobacco-Free Workplace Policy can be found in the SWCC Faculty Handbook, SWCC Classified Staff Handbook, the Personnel Office, and the Office of Student Development Services. E-cigs (vapor) devices are also prohibited in college owned or leased buildings and vehicles.
The telephones in the College are only for use by faculty and staff for official College business.
Incoming emergency telephone calls are received by the Office of Student Development Services. Students will be notified of emergency calls as quickly as possible.
The College has been approved for GI Bill® Educational Benefits. Any veteran eligible for educational benefits under the various public laws may receive these benefits at the College. Training time for degree programs is computed as follows:
12 or more semester hours Full-time benefits
9 to 11 semester hours Three-quarter time benefits
6 to 8 semester hours One-half time benefits
Information and assistance regarding veterans’ benefits may be obtained from the Office of Veterans Affairs in Tazewell Hall, Room 104. Veterans will be required to furnish documents such as discharge records, family status legal records (divorce, marriage, birth, and health certificates), or other Veterans Administration (VA) eligibility forms to be certified for VA educational benefits. Some forms must be acquired through the VA, but the Veterans Affairs Certifying Official of the College has many of the necessary forms.
College policy concerning veteran certification is: Veterans will be certified only for courses which apply directly to the educational objective (certificate, diploma, or degree); acceptable elective courses must meet the division chairperson’s approval; students cannot be certified for courses not in the curriculum. The Veterans Affairs Certifying Official will verify that each veteran is only certified for approved courses each semester.
Developmental classes must precede required courses (e. g., ENF 3 before ENG 111; MTE 1-6 before MTH 115, etc.). Developmental courses may be repeated one time.
Veterans who are eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, Chapter 30, must verify their attendance on the last calendar day of each month. Verification may be submitted online at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/default.cfm or by calling 1.877.823.2378 and following the instructions. Excessive absences may jeopardize continued receipt of VA benefits.
It is the veteran’s responsibility to notify the Veterans Affairs Officer of any changes which might affect the enrollment status, e. g., changes in course load, drop/add, withdrawal, termination, re-enrollment, changes in dependent status, address, etc.
The College’s Bookstore is located in Buchanan Hall adjacent to the Student Lounge. It is open from 7:45 a. m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and sells required textbooks, supplies, and SWCC insignia clothing. Extended hours are kept during rush periods.
Students are encouraged to attend classes prior to purchasing books to avoid unnecessary returns. A schedule with course number and course name helps to simplify finding the correct text. The bookstore will accept checks (with the student’s social security number and driver’s license number) for the amount of purchase only. MasterCard, VISA, American Express cards, and financial aid are accepted, also. Returns must be made within ten (10) days from the first day of class and be accompanied by a receipt. Do not write in textbooks in the event they may have to be returned.
The Bookstore has an extensive book buy-back program to buy and sell used textbooks. The Bookstore will buy back (based on demand) textbooks for the current wholesale value during exam week in May and December.
The Vice President of Academic & Student Services is the chief student advocate for student-related concerns or problems. The Vice President of Academic & Student Services has primary responsibility for instructional matters; this is the person to see regarding classroom or teaching/learning issues. The Vice President of Administrative Services is responsible for the physical plant and administrative procedures of the College. The Vice President of Institutional Advancement is responsible for oversight of grant development, public relations, and marketing programs and services, alumni affairs, and the Educational Foundation.
In accordance with § 23-9.2:10, Code of Virginia, Southwest Virginia Community College’s Threat Assessment Team will develop policies and procedures for the prevention of violence on campus, including assessment and intervention with individuals whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of the campus community. See http://sw.edu/tat
Transcript requests may be made in writing and forwarded to the Office of Admissions and Records or students active in the SIS system may request transcripts online. The student’s signature, social security number, and/or EMPLID must be included on the request. Telephone requests for transcripts cannot be accepted. Normal processing time for transcript requests is five (5) working days, except at peak registration and grade-recording periods. There is no charge for a transcript, but the student’s transcript will not be released until all financial obligations to the College are met.
Obligations — Hold on Student Records
Obligations to the College usually prevent a student from registering for courses, receiving their degree, diploma, or certificate (if graduating), and/or receiving a copy of grades or transcripts (VCCS Policy Manual, Sec. 188.8.131.52.). The Business Office currently enters the appropriate obligation code for students obtaining short-term loans, returned checks, and other student debt to the College. Student loan co-signers and recipients are not obligated until the loan is due.
Letters of notification of obligation are sent to the students from the office of origin. Student debts to clubs are not treated as obligations to the College.
The personnel in the office of origin shall be responsible for a follow-up contact with the student (or co-signer) if the obligation is still owed one month after the initial notification to the student concerning the obligation. Co-signers for short-term loans are also considered to be obligated to the College when the debt is due, until such time when the debt is paid. Correspondence concerning any follow-up contact should be forwarded to the Business Office, for inclusion with the Notice of Obligation.
Set-Off Debt Collection
The Business Office forwards a listing of persons with obligations to the College to the State Tax System Office for collection through the STARS System set-off debt collection process which captures any tax refunds or lottery winnings for persons who owe debts to state institutions.
Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by SWCC and the federal government. These limitations include all terms of enrollment, whether or not aid was awarded or received. At Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC), Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards apply also to non-federal aid, including state funds. Progress is measured throughout the academic program by the student’s cumulative grade point average (Qualitative) and by credits earned as a percentage of those attempted (Quantitative or Pace of Completion). In addition, students must complete their programs of study before attempting 150% of the credits required to complete the program. The College Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress before aid is awarded and again after most grades are posted for every term, starting with the first term of enrollment. Some career studies certificate programs are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward all SAP requirements (GPA, Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe, and Developmental Maximum) if the student later enrolls in an eligible program.
It is the desire of the College that no qualified student be denied the privilege of attendance because of financial need. Determination of need is based upon the student’s financial resources and allowances for tuition, fees, books, supplies, meals, room, transportation, and other expenses. In order to be eligible to receive aid, a student must be enrolled in a curriculum which is at least 24 credit hours and has a specified completion date. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the College and VCCS policy, in order to continue to be eligible to receive aid. A part of the satisfactory academic progress requirement relates to completion of courses. Courses with a W or F grade are counted into this measure. Therefore, students considering withdrawal are advised to consult with the financial aid office to check whether this will affect their aid in future terms.
Students must sign a statement of educational purpose agreeing to only use federal student aid funds for expenses related to college attendance. Students wishing to apply for financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office in Tazewell Hall. It is strongly encouraged that all students access financial aid applications and resources through SWCC’s website (www.sw.edu).
Financial aid applications must be filed each year. The summer term is the beginning of a new financial aid year so new applications should be filed two months prior to summer term. A student can receive financial aid from only one college per semester. About 30 percent of applications are marked for verification by the federal government. Verification is a process that needs to be completed by a financial aid officer. When performing this process, the financial aid staff is ensuring that the information the student entered on their FAFSA is correct. Students are randomly selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS) or are selected by the College if certain error messages exist on their ISIR. Colleges are required to verify all applicants selected by the Central Processing System (CPS). When a student is selected for verification, they will be mailed a “Missing Information Letter” (MIL) by the College stating what documentation is required, the deadlines for completing any required actions, and the consequences for missing the deadlines. If applicable, the student will also be sent a “Verification Worksheet” that they must complete and return by the deadlines stated in the letter. The letter will state that the Financial Aid Office cannot move forward with the awarding process until all required documentation is received.
Financial aid consists of several different programs, but is, generally, divided into three major categories: grants, scholarships, and work programs. A listing of the various programs offered is listed below.
Federal and State Aid Programs:
Students may apply for this federally funded aid program by completing the Application for Federal Student Aid. This non-repayable grant is available to eligible students enrolled in a regular program. Awards depend on expected family contribution, the cost of education, full- or part-time status, and the length of enrollment in the academic year.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
EOG, a non-repayable grant, is awarded to students having the greatest financial need; priority is given to Pell Grant recipients. Students who are eligible for SEOG funds may be awarded up to $1,000 a year based on need, the availability of funds, and other aid received.
Commonwealth Grants (COMA)
Commonwealth Grants are awarded to in-state students who are enrolled at least half time (six (6) credits or more) and who have extreme financial need. The grant will pay tuition for 14 credits.
Part-Time Tuition Assistance Program (PTAP)
The Part-Time Tuition Assistance Program is a state-funded grant provided for students who are enrolled between one and six (1-6) credits per semester in a curriculum leading to the completion of a degree or certificate program.
SWCC does not participate in Federal Family Student Loan Programs.
Short Term Loans (STL)
Short-term loans, offered by the College, may meet the emergency needs of a student with regard to the payment of tuition and the purchase of books. The short-term loan must be repaid within 60 days at no interest and requires a co-signer who is 21 years of age or older. Apply in person at the Office of Financial Aid.
Work Study Program
College Work Study is a federally funded program that permits the College to create jobs for students who are eligible for financial aid. These part-time jobs, awarded to full-time students only, generally will not exceed eight (8) hours per week with pay equal to the minimum wage. Most college work study jobs are located on campus, but in some instances, a student may be placed off-campus working for a public or private non-profit agency. Students must maintain a 2.0 (+) GPA to be eligible for work study.
Mary Marshall Nursing Scholarship was established by the General Assembly for Virginia residents in the nursing program who have financial need. Sophomore nursing students must apply by March 15. The application deadline for freshmen nursing students is June 15.
The Foundation & Institutional Scholarship application is available online and you will be considered for all scholarships for which you qualify. Unless otherwise indicated, applicants must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA and enroll as a full-time student (min.12 credit hours). Deadlines vary and are advertised on our website. A list of all general SWCC Foundation & Institutional Scholarships followed by the criteria necessary to apply is published on the Scholarship application site at http://sw.edu/scholarships.
Community Based Awards
Since other community based groups may award scholarships, interested students should contact their high school counselor or the College Financial Aid Office.
I. Student Financial Aid Status
A. Financial Aid Good Standing (GS) – Students who are meeting all aspects of the satisfactory academic progress policy or successfully following a designated academic progress plan.
B. Financial Aid Warning Status (WS) – Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term. Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of the warning status term will be placed on financial aid suspension. However, with a successful SAP appeal, those students will be placed on financial aid probation and will retain financial aid eligibility.
C. Financial Aid Probation Status (PS) – Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed in Probation Status (PS). Students in Probation Status (PS) are eligible to receive financial aid for one (1) semester, after which they MUST be in Good Standing (GS) or meeting the requirements of an academic progress plan that was pre-approved by the College Financial Aid Office. (See “IV. Appeals” for additional information.)
D. Financial Aid Suspension Status (SS) – Students who do not meet the credit progression schedule and/or the cumulative grade point average standard, or who fail to meet the requirements of their pre-approved academic progress plan, will be placed in Suspension Status (SS). Students in Suspension Status (SS) are not eligible to receive financial aid.
E. Academic Suspension (AS) – Academic requirements for avoiding warning status and staying in school differ from financial aid requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Academic status will be noted on registration records; financial aid status will be noted on financial aid screens in SIS. Any student suspended from Southwest Virginia Community College for academic or behavioral reasons is automatically ineligible for financial aid.
II. Evaluating Progress
A. Quantitative Standards or Pace of Completion:
Completion Rate (67% Rule): Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67% of cumulative credits attempted. This calculation is performed by dividing the cumulative total number of successfully completed credits by the cumulative total number of credits attempted. All credits attempted at SWCC (except audits, which must be entered as such by the class census date) are included. All credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. This evaluation will be made prior to aid being awarded and after grades are posted at the end of each semester a student is enrolled at the College. Credits with satisfactory grades at the College are those for which a grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P is earned. Note: Federal student loan borrowers must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the point of loan certification and again prior to the disbursement of any loan proceeds.
Maximum Hours (150% Rule): In order to continue receiving financial aid, a student must complete his/her program of study before attempting 150% of the credits required for that program. Developmental and ESL course work are excluded in this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all applicable transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence.
Transfer Students: In order to properly calculate satisfactory academic progress, transfer students who apply for financial aid must request official transcripts from all other colleges attended. Official transcripts must be submitted directly to Admissions/Records Office for evaluation . Credits officially accepted in transfer will be counted in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility. The College has the option on an individual student basis to put a transfer student in Financial Aid Warning Status immediately upon evaluation for financial aid if academic history at previous colleges indicates a pattern of unsuccessful academic work.
Second Degree Students: Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted.
ESL and Developmental Studies: Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.
Additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards
- Withdrawals (W grades) that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid.
- Incomplete Grades: Courses that are assigned an incomplete grade are included in cumulative credits attempted. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned.
- Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative grade point average. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed, but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt. Only the latest attempt will count toward the cumulative grade point average.
B. Qualitative Standards
Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule): In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are excluded from GPA evaluation. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.
Total Number of Credits Attempted
III. Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid
Students who do not meet the credit progression requirements (Quantitative or Pace of Completion) and/or cumulative grade point average requirements (Qualitative) will be immediately ineligible for financial aid. Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment. Unless extenuating circumstances exist and an appeal is granted (see “IV. Appeals” for additional information), a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until satisfactory academic progress requirements are again met. Students who fail to meet these Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may request a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid to determine whether they have again met satisfactory academic progress standards. If standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year. Students should consult their campus financial aid advisors for assistance in appealing any element of this policy or to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid.
Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the financial aid suspension. Students must clearly state what caused the suspension and must also clearly indicate what has changed that will now allow the student to succeed. Appeals are encouraged if:
- Extenuating circumstances exist (e.g., student’s serious illness or accident; death, accident or serious illness in the immediate family; other mitigating circumstances), or
- The student has successfully completed one degree and is attempting another, or
- The student on suspension for other than Maximum Hours (150%), who has not yet met SAP requirements, has during suspension enrolled in and successfully completed at least 12 semester credits at the College with a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Students appealing a suspension must:
- Complete the appropriate SWCC satisfactory progress appeal form in entirety
- Attach documentation in support of the appeal, including an advisor statement showing remaining credits to graduation for 150% appeals, and
- Submit all items to the College Financial Aid Office, SWCC PO Box SVCC RICHLANDS VA 24641
Only complete appeal submissions, with appropriate documentation, such as doctor's excuse, hospital admission papers, obituary, etc., will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The decision is final. Depending on the circumstances, the student could be required to complete additional requirements (i.e., see a career counselor or another type of counselor, meet with an advisor to develop an academic progress plan for completion, limit enrollment, etc.) before an appeal is granted. The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation. The reasonableness of the student’s ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student’s program of study will be carefully considered. Appeals will be approved or denied. Students who have appeals approved will be in probationary status for the coming term. During probationary status, all attempted credits must be successfully completed with at least C or S grades, and any additional requirements of probation must be met, or the student will return to suspension. If an academic progress plan has been pre-approved by financial aid, continuing to meet the requirements of that plan will put the student back into good standing.
When a recipient of Title IV grant (Pell or FSEOG) assistance withdraws from the College during a semester in which the recipient began attendance, the College must determine the amount of Title IV grant assistance that the student earned as of the student’s withdrawal date in accordance with federal regulations (34 CFR, Part 668, Section 668.22, November 1, 1999). If the student never begins attendance, a full refund of all charges assessed (tuition, fees, bookstore charges) against the Pell Grant or FSEOG programs will be returned by the College.
If the total amount of Title IV grant assistance that the student earned is less than the amount of Title IV grant assistance that was disbursed to the student as of the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew, the difference between these amounts must be returned to the Title IV programs.
If the total amount of Title IV grant assistance that the student earned is greater than the total amount disbursed to the student, the difference between these amounts must be treated as post-withdrawal disbursement.
If outstanding charges exist on the student’s account, the College may credit the student’s account with all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement, up to the amount of the outstanding charges.
The College must offer any amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the student’s account to the student within 30 days of the date of the college’s determination that the student withdrew. The College must provide written notification to the student identifying the type and amount of the Title IV funds that make up the post-withdrawal disbursement. The written notice must explain that the student may accept or decline some or all of the post-withdrawal disbursement and that no post-withdrawal disbursement will be made to the student if the student does not respond within 14 days of the date that the institution sent the notification. If no response is received from the student, no portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement may be disbursed to the student.
Withdrawal Date for a Student Receiving Title IV Aid
For a student who ceases attendance the withdrawal date is:
- The date that the student began the withdrawal process by submitting a completed withdrawal form to Office of Admissions and Records.
- The date, as determined by the College, that the student otherwise provided official notification to Office of Admissions and Records, in writing or orally, of his or her intent to withdraw.
- If the student ceases attendance without providing official notification to Office of Admissions and Records of his or her withdrawal, the mid-point of the semester or period of enrollment.
- If the College determines that a student did not begin the College’s withdrawal process or otherwise provides official notification because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control, the date that the College determines is related to that circumstance.
- The student’s last date of attendance at an academically-related activity, provided that the College documents that the activity is academically related and documents the student’s attendance at the activity. An academically-related activity includes, but is not limited to, an exam, a tutorial, computer-assisted instruction, academic counseling, academic advisement, turning in a class assignment, or attending a study group that is assigned by the College.
The College must document a student’s withdrawal date and maintain the documentation as of the date of the College’s determination that the student withdrew. “Official notification to the College” is a notice of intent to withdraw that a student provides to Office of Admissions and Records.
Calculation of Amount of Title IV Aid Earned by the Student
The amount of Title IV grant assistance that is earned by the student is calculated by:
- Determining the percentage of payment period completed. The percentage of the payment period completed is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days in the payment period into the number of calendar days completed in that period as of the student’s withdrawal date. The total number of calendar days in a payment period includes all days within the period, except that scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days are excluded from the total number of calendar days in the calculation.
- Determining the percentage of assistance earned by the student. The percentage of the Title IV assistance that has been earned by the student is equal to the percentage of the payment period that the student completed as of the student’s withdrawal date, if this date occurs on or before completion of 60 percent (60%) of the payment period. The amount of aid earned is considered to be 100 percent (100%) if the student’s withdrawal date occurs after completion of 60 percent (60%) of the payment period.
- Determining the percentage of assistance unearned by the student. The percentage of Title IV grant assistance that has not been earned by the student is calculated by determining the complement of the percentage of Title IV grant assistance earned by the student.
- Determining the percentage of unearned Title IV assistance to be returned. The unearned amount of Title IV assistance to be returned is calculated by subtracting the amount of Title IV assistance earned by the student from the amount of Title IV aid that was disbursed to the student as of the date of the College’s determination that the student withdrew.
Return of Unearned Title IV Aid by the College
The College must return the lesser of:
- The total amount of unearned Title IV assistance to be returned as calculated above; or
- An amount equal to the total charges by the College incurred by the student for the payment period multiplied by the percentage of Title IV grant assistance that has not been earned by the student as calculated in (3) above. Charges by the College are tuition, fees, and bookstore charges assessed by the College.
Return of Unearned Title IV Aid by the Student
After the College has allocated the unearned funds for which it is responsible, the student must return assistance for which the student is responsible. The amount of assistance that the student is responsible for returning is calculated by subtracting the amount of unearned aid that the College is required to return from the total amount of unearned Title IV assistance to be returned. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent (50%) of the grant assistance that is the responsibility of the student to repay.
A student who owes an overpayment of Title IV assistance remains eligible for Title IV program funds through and beyond the earlier of 45 days from the date the College sends a notification to the student of the overpayment, or 45 days from the date the College was required to notify the student of the overpayment if, during those 45 days, the student:
- Repays the overpayment in full to the College or
- Signs a repayment agreement with the U.S. Secretary of Education.
The College must send the student a notice within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal, if the student owes a Title IV overpayment. If the student does not repay the overpayment in full, the College must refer the student overpayment to the Secretary of Education for collection. A student wishing to enter into a repayment arrangement with the U.S. Secretary of Education should call 1.800.621.3155. Referral to the Secretary must take place within the earlier of 45 days from the date the College sends a notification to the student of the overpayment, or 45 days from the date the College was required to notify the student of the overpayment. A student who owes an overpayment is ineligible for Title IV program funds.
Order of Return of Title IV Aid
Unearned funds returned by the College or the student must be credited to any amount awarded for the payment period for which a return of funds is required in the following order: Federal Pell Grants and Federal SEOG Program aid.
Timeframe for Return of Title IV Aid
The College must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after the date of the College’s determination that the student withdrew. The College must determine the withdrawal date for a student who withdraws without providing notification to the College no later than 30 days after the end of the payment period.
Students or parents who believe that individual circumstances warrant exceptions from the published refund and repayment policies may appeal in writing to the Office of Admissions and Records.